Over Mount Baker

August 15, 2012

Mount Baker from Above - IMAG0564

Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

August 2012 Viewer's Choice

The stratovolcano Mount Baker (10,778 ft or 3,285 m) is one of a long string of volcanoes along the West Coast of North America. Most people see the mountain from the south or west. From that point of view, the mountain’s flat top is unmistakable. The fact that it stands far above the surrounding terrain adds to its distinction. From this photo, taken from an airliner at 29,000 ft (8,840 m), you don’t notice either of these things but you can’t fail to miss all the white stuff. The Cascades have among the heaviest annual snowfalls anywhere on Earth and Mount Baker carries a higher volume of snow and ice than all the Cascade volcanoes put together, excluding Mount Rainier. During the winter of 1998-1999 Mount Baker set what's believed to be a world record with 1,140 in (2,896 cm) of snowfall. As of July 2012, Mount Baker’s glaciers cover an area of 14.9 sq mi (38.6 sq km). Studies of nine glaciers on the mountain show that individual glaciers have retreated from 788 ft (240 m) to 1,706 ft (520 m) between 1984 and 2009. Colfax Peak and the jagged Lincoln Peak are seen on the left of Baker’s volcanic cone. Baker is one of the youngest of the Cascade Volcanoes and the cone seen here is probably less than 30,000 years old. The mountain is named for Joseph Baker an officer serving with George Vancouver on an exploring expedition in 1792. The local Nooksack Indians have a descriptive name for it: Koma Kulshan or “White Steep Mountain”. Photo taken September 2, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Maker: HTC; Camera Model: PC36100; Focal Length: 4.92mm; ISO equiv: 121; Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Software: GIMP 2.